'The equipping must always lead to service', I wrote in my previous blog post. We are being equipped in order to serve God. That sounds pretty cool. Of course, deep down in our heart we all want to do something useful for God. But doing good works .... to what purpose? For sure we do not (and cannot) earn God's love.
Let's go back to our base text (Ephesians 4: 11-13) for this series about the purpose of the church:
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up...
The NKJV says it like this:
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
So, we do not work in His service for ourselves and weird enough not for God either. He does not need anything from us. In Acts 17:25 we can read: And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. No, we do not serve God in order to become a better person in one way or another. We serve, so that the Church will be built up.
There are many churches and denominations complaining about a decline in growth. This often results in the implementation of all kinds of ideas to make the church services more attractive. But biblically speaking, the church will not be built up by programs and methods, but by the servanthood of believers.
We should not expand the number of seats in a church or congregation, but rather call the people in the seats to take action. Whether there are twenty or two hundred people present. We do not grow by gathering more knowledge (let's be honest, how many sermons can a person hear?) but by doing what we have learned.